People Stuck In ‘Coverage Gap’ In States That Won’t Expand Medicaid
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells the stories of Georgians who can't afford private insurance but don't qualify for Medicaid. Other news comes out of Alabama, Vermont and Pennsylvania. And KHN interviews the new head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Some Georgians Go Without Health Coverage During Disagreement On Medicaid Expansion
Kelly Stewart hasn’t had health insurance in years. In most states, she would qualify for Medicaid, even with her occasional – and modest – earnings as an in-home caregiver. But not in Georgia. Unlike 38 other states and the District of Columbia, Georgia still refuses to expand Medicaid eligibility to most of its poor residents under the Affordable Care Act, despite new financial incentives offered by President Joe Biden’s administration. As a result, unless things change Georgia will forego an estimated $710 million in federal funding by the time Gov. Brian Kemp’s first term concludes in 2023. (Hart, 6/2)
Medicaid Expansion Could Create 28,500 Jobs In Alabama, Advocates Say
Advocates of Medicaid expansion in Alabama said adding low-income adults to the program could create 28,500 jobs in the state, according to a study from the Commonwealth Fund, a health care policy foundation.The announcement follows months of effort by advocacy groups to persuade Gov. Kay Ivey to expand the safety net program, even after legislators failed to act during the session that ended last month. The Cover Alabama Coalition represents several organizations that support the expansion of Medicaid. Alabama is one of 12 states where neither voters nor state leaders have opted to increase coverage to all low-income individuals. (Yurkanin, 6/2)
Former State Medicaid Director Hired By University Of Vermont Health Network
For the past four years, Cory Gustafson oversaw the state’s Medicaid program, which provides funding to doctors and health care facilities. Now, he’s taken a job at Vermont’s largest health care organization. ... Gustafson said the move from state government to an entity that relies on state funding doesn’t represent a conflict of interest because he will focus on “internal-facing” issues such as business planning, capital planning and increasing efficiency within the six network hospitals in Vermont and New York. The role allows him to abide by ethics rules that prohibit lobbying for a year after leaving state government, he said. (Jickling, 6/2)
Do Enough Pittsburgh Therapists Accept Medicaid? Some See A Shortage.
Medicaid provides coverage for low-income people and people with disabilities. The entities that oversee Medicaid services in Allegheny County maintain that there are enough credentialed mental health providers to meet the need, including more than 600 therapists in private practice as well as those at community mental health centers. Yet PublicSource spoke to more than a dozen residents who rely on Medicaid and two dozen therapists who described a dearth of therapists authorized to accept Medicaid, especially those specializing in care for Black, LGBTQ, neurodiverse, disabled and other underserved communities. (Rihl, 6/3)
Many New Moms Get Kicked Off Medicaid 2 Months After Giving Birth. Illinois Will Change That.
The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in which the maternal death rate has been rising. Each year, about 700 deaths are due to pregnancy, childbirth or subsequent complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When someone dies while pregnant or within a year of childbirth in Illinois, that’s considered a maternal death. Karen Tabb Dina is a maternal health researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who serves on a state-level committee that’s trying to figure out what’s killing these mothers. (Herman, 6/3)
And the new head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services discusses her priorities —
Expanding Insurance Coverage Is Top Priority For New Medicare-Medicaid Chief
The new head of the federal agency that oversees health benefits for nearly 150 million Americans and $1 trillion in federal spending said in one of her first interviews that her top priorities will be broadening insurance coverage and ensuring health equity. “We’ve seen through the pandemic what happens when people don’t have health insurance and how important it is,” said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, who was confirmed by the Senate to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on May 25 and sworn in on May 27. “Our focus is going to be on making sure regulations and policies are going to be focused on improving coverage.” (Rovner, 6/3)